"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Comic Books, Film
Awards | A committee chaired by writer and historian Mark Evanier has chosen Elliot S! Maggin and Richard E. Hughes as the recipients of this year’s Bill Finger Awards, which honor writers whose work has not gotten the recognition it deserves. Maggin is a longtime comics writer whose credits include Green Arrow, Batman, Justice League, Peter Parker, Strange Sports Stories, and the Marvel Classics version of The Iliad. Hughes, who died in 1974, was a prolific writer who worked under a number of pen names. He created The Black Terror for Standard Comics in the 1940s and later became editor at American Comics Group, where he scripted many comics. He is the co-creator of Herbie Popnecker, the Fat Fury, who later got his own comic. The awards will be presented at the Eisner Awards ceremony at Comic-Con International in San Diego. [Comic-Con International]
Conventions | Organizers of the San Diego Hall of Champions sports museum announced this week they’ve been in talks with Comic-Con International about establishing a comics-focused museum in the city’s Balboa Park. The report notes that “details remain sketchy,” even though discussions have been under way for the past year. “There’s no hurry to move it along,” said Hall of Champions board member Dan Shea. As the report notes, this isn’t the first time a Comic-Con museum has been discussed: Stalled expansion plans for the current San Diego Convention Center called for a museum celebrating the event. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]
Boutique home video distributor Criterion commissioned Samuel Hiti (Los Tiempos Finales, Death-Day) and a list of other great comics artists to create artwork for the individual films in the company’s box set for the long-running Zatoichi series starring Shintaro Katsu as a blind, but incredibly quick and accurate swordsman. Hiti designed the cover for Zatoichi the Fugitive, the fourth in the series.
Twenty-five Zatoichi films were produced between 1962 and 1973, making it the longest-running action series in Japanese history. There was also a four-season TV series in the late ’70s. The Criterion box set collects those first 25 feature films in one package for the first time, but doesn’t include 1989’s Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman, written and directed by Shintaro Katsu himself.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.
If I (only) had $15, I’d first pick up Creator Owned Heroes #2 (Image, $3.99). This format is something I revel in, and it doesn’t hurt to have good comics like those from Palmiotti, Gray, Noto, Niles and Mellon. After that I’d get the long-awaited Infernal Man-Thing #1 (Marvel, $3.99). I only found out about this delayed-’80s series in the early 2000s, but I had the chance to speak to Kevin Nowlan about a year back and we talked at length about the book. He showed me some art and I was sold. Third on my list would be Invincible #93 (Image, $2.99). The Walking Dead might be getting all the attention, but if I had to chose between all of the books Kirkman’s written it’d easily be Invincible. He and artists Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley continue to bring their A-game here, and this new format with Ottley and Walker trading pages is great. With the last bit of my $15 I’d pick up Avengers Vs. X-Men #7 (Marvel, $3.99). This has easily become one of the greatest event series since Civil War, and the last issue in particular sold it with the twin stylings of Jonathan Hickman and Olivier Coipel. You might say I have diminished thresholds when it comes to event series, but I see it as a different kind of comic than, I don’t know, Dan Clowes or something. It’s its own thing, and in this case it’s very good at it.
If I had $30, I’d get Mike Norton’s Battlepug HC (Dark Horse, $14.99). Call me a fool for buying a free webcomic in trade, but I missed the boat when this was coming out online. Norton has won me over with his work through the years and I have no problem shelling out $15 bucks to see it in this hardcover format – even if I’m not a dog person.
And for splurging, I’d get Ed Piskor’s Wizzywig HC (Top Shelf, $19.95). This is exactly the kind of book that fits in my wheelhouse, but like Battlepug I missed out on this when it was first published. Like some sort of Hackers movie done right (sorry Angelina!), I want to learn more about this and eschew my status as a neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie.
Here’s something to look forward to if you’ve ever heard the call of Cthlhu: A Love Craft, an upcoming exhibition of art inspired by the work of hugely influential horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. Hosted at Observatory in Brooklyn beginning with a Friday, June 11th opening reception at 7pm, the show features such masters of the macabre as Monster Brains impresario Aeron Alfrey and comics artists Greg Ruth and Johnny Ryan, whose contribution you can see after the jump. Go get your fhtagn on!